The Roma as a whole get a load of bad press and treatment where ever they go as do what the Bulgarians call "Gypsy's". When we moved here we had no pre-formed ideas about anyone and decided that although we'd read various things about the so called gypsies that we'd make our own opinions based on the people themselves.
In any Bulgarian village there will be a population of gypsies, Roma whatever you want to call them. Personally I do think that many of them are not true Roma but just get bundled in with them as they don't fit into the Bulgarian bracket. Certainly here a part of our community is from Turkish decendants, whose family's have been in Bulgaria for more than one generation. Let's not forget that Bulgaria was ruled by Turkey years ago and there is still some bad feeling between the Turks and Bulgarians, at least there can be. Our village nightclub was closed due to fighting between the 2 races although majority of the people involved were born in Bulgaria!
If you listen to most Bulgarian people they say that gypsies are lower in the pecking order than a dog and have various other names for them including Mangalli, Siganni etc although I believe gypsy is the most derogatory. Madonna mentioned the plight of the Roma people on her recent world tour and was booed and jeered at in Bucharest, Romania. More details of this story can be found Here!
I must say that the Bulgarian people are lovely on the whole but I can understand some of the reasons why they don't like the so called gypsies/roma,siganni etc. There is a difference between the 2 peoples, not always evident from the outside although some of the gypsies do have darker skin. From experience I find many of the to be arrogant, ignorant and able to lie their way through anything! They seem to think that the world owes them something and if they want an item it's ok to take it whether it's theirs or not. Before anyone jumps on this - I'm not saying that they are all the same, but majority of the ones we have met are as I've already described, some to a greater extent than others.
We've employed and worked alongside some of these people in the past, even classed some as friends at one point but to be honest we learned the hard way, had our fingers burnt and realised that although these people acted friendly they were only truly interested in finding out how much money we had and how was the best way they could get some!